SEAT is going to launch one new car every six months until 2020. The first two vehicles will be the SEAT Tarraco and the CUPRA Ateca, which are going on sale at the end of 2018.
Next year the new generation SEAT Leon will be available in dealerships with two variants, the five-door model and the ST family sized version.
2020 will see SEAT’s first fully electric vehicle, built on the Volkswagen Group’s MEB platform and featuring a range of 500 kilometers (310 miles) and, for the first time, the addition of a CUV (Crossover Utility Vehicle) in the SEAT model line-up.
This was announced on Thursday by SEAT President Luca de Meo at the annual results presentation to the media held in Madrid.
SEAT is taking a step forward in boosting electric mobility, which includes the plug-in hybrid version of the new generation Leon, also in 2020. In addition, the brand will remain committed to vehicles powered with compressed natural gas (CNG) as well as internal combustion engines.
The new model offensive comes as a result of the highest investment figure since the Martorell factory was built in 1992. Last year, SEAT allocated €962 million (US$1.2 billion) to investments and R&D expenses—11.6% more than in 2016 (862), and 10.1% of the brand’s total turnover. Of this amount, €464 million (US$572 million) were earmarked entirely for R&D, a figure which represents close to 3% of the total R&D investment expenses in Spain, making SEAT the leading industrial investor in Spain.
Furthermore, de Meo reaffirmed SEAT’s commitment to opening outward and building a digital ecosystem around the car. Within this framework are the partnerships and agreements reached with companies such as Amazon Alexa, Shazam, Waze, Telefónica or Saba.
Luca de Meo also pointed to SEAT’s globalisation as a further pillar of the strategy. The company operates in more than 80 countries, but only 15% of sales are made outside Europe. In this sense, the strategic growth regions are Northern Africa, where SEAT leads the Volkswagen Group’s vehicle assembly project in Algeria, and Latin America and Mexico, where the company is studying the feasibility of producing.
In addition, markets have been opened recently in Norway and New Zealand, now making the company present on all five continents. SEAT is also participating in the joint venture between Volkswagen Group China and JAC by contributing its technical support and know-how in R&D and design.